Lesser Butterfly Orchid project update

It’s been a busy season of getting to grips with the project and putting it firmly back on track. Much of that has involved getting out and about monitoring and meeting up with the lucky few who have these beautiful plants on their land.


The Lesser Butterfly Orchid is a stunning creamy-flowered species which has seen awful declines in the last 50 years hence why Plantlife raised this species as a key priority for conservation. But the ask isn’t easy…

Sue Nottingham, Plantlife

This dainty orchid has broad tastes in where it likes to grow – from dry chalky woodlands in Kent to cold mountain bogs in Scotland. The question is – how do you manage these habitats for the orchid when the requirements are so different?

One of the outcomes of the project will seek to answer this question through the development of a new Lesser Butterfly Orchid habitat management booklet aimed at land managers and owners across the country.

Here’s a few pictures from last month when Wild Screen came to film the project out at Devon Wildlife Trust’s gorgeous Dunsdon nature reserve in North Devon.


Mike Waller - Lesser Butterfly Orchid Project Officer




Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.


5 thoughts on “Lesser Butterfly Orchid – Project Update

  1. We believe we have had lesser butterfly orchids on our land(Staffordshire moorlands ST10 3DS)
    We do have photo

  2. I have 8 lesser butterfly orchids in my meadow but I am west coast Scotland, they are increasing in number each year.

  3. We have a Lesser butterfly orchid which appeared in our garden in Milngavie (Glasgow suburb) last year and has come up again this year with two spikes. It’s growing on the edge of a bed with Meconopsis, primula and other shade-loving plants. A couple of knowledgeable friends identified it for me. 1/7/20

  4. Walking at Burncrooks reservoir near Milngavie I noticed an unusual white orchid, trying to find out what it was on the web I came accross your project and now think what I saw was a lesser Buterfly orchid.I took a picture and an fairly sure that is what it is. I do still have the photo and can supply it.

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